View Full Version : Housebreaking advice for owners who work full time

February 5th, 2012, 10:44 PM
We have a 1 1/2 year old puggle who is crate trained. However, we are not able to come home from work everyday to let her out and do not want to leave her in her crate for 8 hours. We want to leave her out of her crate during the day while we are at work. We have been leaving her in our basement with puppy pads on the floor. Sometimes she will hold her business until we get home, and we praise her and give her treats, but more often than not she will go pee on the pads or on the carpet near the pads. She sometimes even chews up the pads. In these instances, she does not receive praise or treats. We always praise her when she goes outside and when we are home she knows to scratch on the door to let us know that she needs to go outside. We are just struggling with an effective method for her while we are at work.

February 6th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Sounds like she's mostly doing well on her training, so congrats for that! :thumbup: Some dogs take longer than others to be able to hold it for a full day, so you might just want to continue your crate training for another 6 months or so. Another option would be to have a smaller confinement area... bigger than the crate, smaller than the basement, where she'll be less likely to have accidents.

Sometimes in cases like this, it's helpful to make adjustments to her feeding schedule... feeding 1/4 of her daily ration in the morning, then giving 3/4 in the evening meal. For some dogs, it can be helpful to change from a water bowl to a water bottle (like the ones you see in hamster cages... they make bigger ones for dogs), which will keep her from drinking excessively out of boredom while you're gone, but still allow her to have access to the water she needs.

I hate to break it to you, but the treats and praise you give when you get home and she's had a good, accident-free day probably won't help, just as correcting her after the fact for accidents while you're gone won't help. Dogs associate praise and correction with what they're doing at that moment and can't make the connection that the praise has to do with the end result of what they've been doing all day.

Also, unless you want her to have the option of using the potty pad for the rest of her life (which is fine if you choose to do it), you should eliminate the pad, since it will only teach her that going potty in the house is okay. Either stick to crate training (or using a small enough confinement area in the house that she won't have accidents) or follow our indoor potty training instructions (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/training/indoor-potty-training.htm) while you're away from home if you choose to keep the pads.

Keep me updated! :)